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Do you need a prenuptial agreement to protect your ideas?

Prenuptial agreements (as opposed to antenuptial or "post-marriage") are contracts that couples draft and sign that preemptively allocate how they want to divide their assets. Prenuptial agreements aren't, despite popular belief, an endorsing of the idea that your relationship has a time limit on it. They are useful tools that deal with the reality that sometimes people fall out of love. These contracts ensure that the divorce isn't as messy as it could be.

One type of prenup that is growing in popularity is one designed to protect intellectual property or even ideas. These agreements are increasingly popular among the Millennial generation. Ideas and intellectual property are the assets of the future, and many young people recognize that they need to protect these assets.

There are two competing issues. First, some people believe that intellectual property should be their own, even if the concept is developed during the marriage. Many ideas that drive future businesses, books, poems, and codes were first conceived when people are young. It is easy to think that means it should remain separate property. Conversely, many people argue that these future companies would not have been possible without one spouse sacrificing his or her professional development to support their spouse. Their sacrifice should be reflected in the divorce settlement, including accessing a portion of the proceeds from the intellectual property.

If you are thinking about proposing to your significant other, then you may want to speak to a lawyer first. As you can see, it is a growing trend for couples to protect their ideas and intellectual property with a pre-marital agreement. It becomes even more critical once you being to realize these ideas, the last thing you want is an untimely fight to ruin both your marriage and your burgeoning business idea. An attorney can help you avoid these issues and advise you of the best way to protect your assets.

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

She will take the time to understand your individual needs and develop a comprehensive solution to protect your rights and interests.

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